Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As a kid, every sound had me scrambling around in the dark for a baseball bat. I hated going to sleep. I was always too awake, too aware. I became a lone mother in her nest, having to protect her young, and the precious nest itself. It was either me, or even worse, my mom, who was about to be kidnapped. I even dreamt about the kidnapper; where he would be, where he would take me. Always in black, with only a strip of his face showing. That was how he appeared every time. The kidnapper was the ultimate enemy.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I wish I was still on the couch, raindrops clicking on the window. It was the first real Sunday yesterday, and regular season football was finally on TV. My dog slept on the top of the sea glass-green couch while staring at the water-stained street. I don’t ever want to leave this rainy Sunday morning. I am still there in my head. Throughout these two first weeks of school I try to go away to this Sunday paradise. Instead of being a studious robot completing assignment after assignment, I get to be a neanderthal. I empty my mind of everything, and use only my most primitive instincts. If the sound is too low, I turn it up. If I am cold I get a sweatshirt. If I am disgruntled with the events of the game I grumble at the television. If I am pleased with the events of the game I put my fists up in the air pumping them frantically, and let out a manly “Yea baby!” Then I got here, and it all vanished.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Gary Bernstein walked briskly up to the counter. “My wife and I need to go to the Golden City”. “I’m sorry” the clerk answered, “You’re going to have to wait until next month”. Gary very rarely swore, but at that moment, he cursed to the Gods with such rage, that a dense fog suddenly rolled over the already depressed city of Warsaw, Poland. In Warsaw, everything was grey; the buildings, the people, the sky. Everything just blended into one grey mass of zombified land. Gary eventually calmed down. He could never put up a good fight. He just wasn’t assertive or aggressive enough to get what he wanted. That was one problem that his wife nagged him about over and over again. “Jesus Gary, you just have stand up for yourself once and a while”. Gary couldn’t even count the number of times she said that famous line. Once again he would not fight back. He was not going to create any sort of conflict with the young clerk in the ticket booth. He was going home, trying to think of an excuse to tell to his soon-to-be fuming wife. It was her idea to flee to the Golden City of New York anyway. He wasn’t that eager to go, but to his wife, the streets, rumored to be filled with gold, was like the alluring smell of warm, fresh-baked bread on a chilly Saturday morning. He slowly and deliberately walked up his apartment steps, hoping that maybe in that time, Linda would leave for an errand. Gary opened the small, walnut door, hoping to find Linda taking a nap or busily multi-tasking in the kitchen. There she was, with her arms open, grinning in almost a deranged way. Gary would have to break it to her right away. Before he could make a sound, Linda shouted, “Oh Gary, I can’t believe we’re finally leaving this wasteland of a city!” She squeezed him with all her might, picking him off the ground. As he gasped for air, he wheezed, “No problem honey”. “I must call the portrait company. Get some nice clothes on Gary, as ugly as this city is, I want to have some way of remembering our life here.”Gary uttered under his breath. “God”.
Tiny Tommy they called him. At a miniscule 3’10’ Tommy Greene was almost invisible. His parents were not small, only him. He did not have any disability, no facial deformation. He was just small. Tommy tried his best to live a normal life. At age 12, at a microscopic 3’3’’, Tommy learned how to ride the smallest of bicycles (The kind that the clowns would ride at the circus). He played baseball and was surprisingly good at it. Due to his small stature his strike zone was about the size of a generous scoop of ice cream. He never hit the ball, but his career OBP (on base percentage) was .894. Despite his size Tiny Tommy had a big voice; in a way. The tone and timbre of his voice was what you’d expect out of a 3’10’’ frame. When he talked it was almost impossible to understand. Anybody unfortunate enough to hear him make an utterance cringed as a voice powered with helium-filled lungs spoke out of amplifiers turned up to their highest volume. All the cats of the world hissed and all of the cars in the world came to a screeching halt, which only seemed to make Tommy’s voice more unbearable. His voice did have an upside. Tommy loved dogs, and dogs loved him. The dogs would follow him every time he went out. His voice to dogs was a sugar sweet soprano falsetto that would make their hearts flutter with joy. The dogs were what kept Tommy living. They were his protection and his only friends. They were his life, and he loved it that way. (Here he is pictured at age 22 with his mom, Cathy, and father, Owen.).